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Reconfiguring government schools in India

Semester 3 | Architectural Design

Ar. Ravi Hazra
Ar. Porus Master
Ar. Ashley Fialho
Ar. Saurabh Jain
Ar. Swapna Hankare
Ar. Rohit Karekar
Ar. Richa Raut

Studio Conductors

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”
-Nelson Mandela

India, the second most populous country in the world, houses about 10 lakh Government schools across the country offering primary and higher primary education. Students from all kinds of backgrounds study in these schools, regardless of whether they can afford the basic school amenities or not. However, most of these Government schools lack basic infrastructure and amenities such as water and electricity. Many of these schools even lack adequate spaces for classes as well as outdoor activities to be conducted. A country which proves to be the fastest growing economy in the world should not crawl in the educational sector and should pace up towards a better future in education.

With the intent to rethink and address the issue of the poor conditions of Government schools in India, the third semester design studio asked for a Model school with a challenge to design for 400 students for the grades 1 to 8 with all state of the art facilities. The proposal demanded areas and spaces to be collaborative, multi-functional, interactive and useful for the local community post school hours. A site in Patna, Bihar (state known as the most illiterate in India) was chosen for intervention. A large 25,000+ sq.mt. area with an allowance for built cover not going beyond 30% made the programme interesting as the students explored the process through form, mass and ground with function as the key aspect.

The studio paved the way to the understanding of the ratio of mass to ground, innovation of educational spaces along with traditional ones and finally resulted in different iterations of forms and fabric that made a part of the context.